Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by SeaDragon, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. SeaDragon

    SeaDragon New Egg

    Dec 11, 2011
    If any of you has legal experience, or knows what to do in my situation I would really appreciate some advise. I am feeling totally bullied.

    We live on 1.2 acres San Diego unincorporated. We overlook (literally) a horse park with polo pony fields and an animal hospital (that homes a flock of dumped roosters). The noise from the horse park and the polo fields that hosts horse jumping events, soccer matches, airshows, polo matches, fund raisers etc. most weekends, is considerable.

    Legally we can have up to 25 chickens, and at least one of them can be a rooster due to the size of the property.
    There is a voluntary homeowners assoc. run by a lawyer and he charges the assoc. top rates for his "services". Not sure what he does except send out letters. My DH decided like about 50% of the homes, not to join as he did not see the point of giving this guy $300 a year for nothing.

    Earlier this year the homeowners accoc. wrote us an intimidating letter saying that they had had 2 complaints about my peacock and my rooster, and I had 30 days to get rid of them as the neighbors had a right to peace and quiet at all times of the day and night.

    Sadly I was so disgusted I threw away the letter, but the tone of the letter was that would be in big trouble if I did not comply.

    The day before the letter arrived I had chicken eggs thrown into my mailbox, all over my mail and on the box itself. That was done by someone who is seriously unstable, and this is intimidation. I have no idea who it is. Will they have a gun next time? I have been told that chickens bring down the tone of the neighborhood and why would I want to live in this "type" of neighborhood if I wanted to keep chickens? [​IMG]

    I do not want to upset anyone so I rehomed my beloved peacock, and also my rooster who as barley squawked. I had no problem at all about rehoming the peacock. He was not that noisy but in spring he did call and sometimes at night when a raccoon or bobcat was about, and I understand some people may not want to hear that at night.

    Now I hear roosters all day from OTHER neighbors and from the flock at the animal hospital that is a few 100 yards from my property.

    Am I being unreasonable to want to keep a rooster? Can the HOA lawyer actually stop me if it is just one rooster that I legally can have? What sort of trouble can he make for me?

    Any advise is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  2. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    I have never had this happen, so I cannot give you advice based on experience. I can say that if someone egged my mailbox, house, or anything else, they'd best hope I didn't find out who they were. This is the work of a lowlife who isn't man enough to face you and try to resolve the issue like an adult. You might be able to report this to your post office as tampering with a mailbox is a crime.
  3. Pullet Surprise

    Pullet Surprise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Isn't messing with someone's mail and mailbox a Federal Offense? The key word there is also "voluntary" not let them intimidate you. You have gone the extra mile and re-homed the rooster and peacock. If anyone says anything more I would certainly point to the Animal Hospital. Maybe if you dress your chickens in little Polo shirts, they might be up to "standards" then. [​IMG]... It would be nice to know who did the egging. If others have roosters, I would also. The lawyer would then have no leg to stand on unless he went after everyone else with a roo...
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I think it is really important that you keep a calm head and stop and do as much research as you can so that you know your rights 100 percent. Call animal control and speak to someone to confirm what poultry you are allowed to own and ask how/where you can get a copy of this policy in writing. Make sure that you are following this policy perfectly.

    You said the HOA is voluntary and that you did not join? I am assuming that means that you did not have to sign anything regarding pets or a pet policy when you moved into your home? If you did sign anything read it over very carefully and also have a copy of that ready and available,

    I would call the SD police non-emergency line and tell the operator that your house was egged and that you feel a little concerned about escalation and if they have any advice. Take pictures of any damage/egg/whatever and keep a record so that if anything does escalate you have that all as proof of what has happened. (I do not think egging is going to lead to violence - I think people are just being jerks) When you speak to your neighbors or HOA stay calm and level headed and make sure you do not act in way that encourages dispute even if they do. Tell them that you fully understand your rights and are well within them and present them with the paperwork. You can even tell them that you plan to seek a lawyer if this continues even if that if not completely true.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  5. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    As long as you did not sign a contract with the HOA, then Local ordinance trumps the HOA in this situation. I would contact your Local Extension and ask them about it.
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I'm not sure quite understanding what a voluntary HOA is. Check your property deed to see if there are any covenants or restrictions in it. Look at the recorded plat for your neighborhood and your property, and once again, check to see if there are any provisions that you are subject to. It is possible that there are restrictions, even if you did not join the "$300 annual dues voluntary HOA." Without more data, it is difficult to know whether they have any legal standing over what you are allowed to keep on your property.

    On the other hand, if your animals are creating a bona fide nuisance, taht is an entirely different matter, and will depend on your local nuisance ordinances. Given the surrounding facilities, though, it seems like it would be difficult to enforce against you. For one thing, can they really determine WHERE the crowing is coming from? I am guessing that the real concern is the crowing from the vet facility.

    In the future, do not throw away documents like the letter the HOA attorney sent. It could be important to have it.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012

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